Age Cymru is today urging over 60s to make sure they are claiming all the state benefits that they should be receiving.
The call comes as new figures suggest that debt among older people has risen sharply in the last year - with 1 in 5 (19%) of over 60s owing money on a mortgage, credit card or loan.
Over 1 in 10 (11%) of those surveyed also reported that they had to borrow money to pay their rent or mortgage.
Our Director of Corporate Services Claire Morgan comments:
“It is extremely worrying that such a high number of older people report having debts and have had to borrow money just to keep a roof over their heads.
“Most older people live on a relatively small incomes so making debt repayments can be a worry and many will also have had negative experiences when claiming benefits because they found the system off-putting.
“Older people are also more likely than any other age group to miss out on their benefits because they are hesitant to claim, don’t think they are eligible, or believe the claiming process is over-complicated and intrusive.
“There is also a real need to get rid of the stigma that some people associate with claiming benefits and this is why Age Cymru is today launching ‘Let’s Talk Money’ to put more money in older people’s pockets.”
Let’s Talk Money is Age Cymru’s campaign to make it easier for older people to claim their benefits.
As part of the campaign, Age Cymru has produced a bilingual guide called ‘More Money in Your Pocket: a guide to claiming benefits for people over pension age.’
This contains a wealth of information, including a section based on myths around benefits, the State Pension, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.
It is available from all Age Cymru offices and shops across Wales and from Age UK Advice by calling 0800 169 65 65.
Our fact-filled mini-website which includes an on-line benefit checker, and on-line tax calculator and downloadable information guides.
You can also call into your local Age Cymru for face-to-face information and advice about claiming benefits, or ring Age UK Advice on 0800 169 65 65.
Claire Morgan comments:
“With more than £5 billion of means-tested benefits going unclaimed by older people every year across the UK, it is time to act to make sure those people who are entitled to this money are actually receiving it.
“If it’s Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit – you could be eligible for extra money, so contact Age Cymru and make sure you’re getting every penny that you’re entitled to receive.”